Gerbaz GIIPUJA – damjans



Croatian progressive jazz musician Damjan Grbac follows up his extremely appreciated debut album „GIIPUJA“ with a new ethno jazz (World music) album “GERBAZ GIIPUJA”.

Damjan Grbac, the author, arranger and the band leader of the jazz quartet “damjans”, combines jazz with specific Croatian folk music, the authentic and unique ethno music of Istrian peninsula and Kvarner region which is played in specific Istrian scale. This fusion enables great creativity and seems to be very inspiring to all four musicians who took part in this project. The album is released by the MENART label.

The album GERBAZ GIIPUJA is composed of five original compositions inspired by traditional folk music and one adapted folk melody. “Our longer tracks are strong and deep, so to keep the whole album flowing, we inserted four short interlude pieces as treats between main, longer compositions” states Grbac. “Whatever it is that you might be expecting from this CD – prepare for surprises and wonders, because GERBAZ GIIPUJA will take you on a musical journey to Middle-earth of Istria and Kvarner Bay, where as legends tell us, dreadful creatures and elves reign.”

“Traditional, ethno music of Istria and Kvarner Bay is performed in a specific musical scale, Istrian scale. UNESCO has protected this scale as world’s non-material cultural heritage. This scale is the most original part of my own musical heritage.”, explains Damjan Grbac, an artist who found his inspiration in the ancient ethno music of his native Kvarner Bay, and blended that archaic traditional music with the contemporary improvised jazz.

The selection of musicians for this project is diverse. Marko First, a multi-instrumentalist from Zagreb, plays sopele, twin houses, and violin and brings original folk sound and performance. Italian saxophone player Andreas Marinello who plays soprano, tenor and alto saxophone has nicely blended into this, for him foreign and unknown, traditional music idiom. Both, Damjan Grbac who plays double bass and the drummer and percussionist Tonči Grabušić are jazz musicians who are well acquainted with the traditional music of their native area, and have collaborated on similar projects in the past. Damjan’s eclectic choice of musicians proves to be a winning combination.

Sponsors: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, Kastav Tourist board, City of Rijeka, Municipality of Viškovo, Primorje-gorski kotar County, Autotrans, G.I.S. Music production, Matrix Croatica Kastav, City of Kastav.

GIIPUJA – damjans

Damjans - GiipujaIn the edition of Aquarius records, a young, progressive musician with a diploma of the Trieste Jazz Academy, the contrabass and the bass guitar player from Rijeka, Damjan Grbac, has recorded his first CD with an interesting name „GIIPUJA“.

Pieces of music developed by binding the Istrian and Coastal region ethno music with jazz by the author and arranger Damjan Grbac, have delighted the professors while performing in Italy and the result was the offer to make a CD in their publishing company. As the Croatian heritage is concerned, let’ s remember that UNESCO has protected the Istrian scale as a non-material heritage, so it was logically for the young jazzer that this musical material originated in Croatia.

„Such a project is very rare, although there are many followers in the world. My intention was to present  the audience the way  I consider the traditional Istrian and Coastal region music in conjunction with jazz. I am especially satisfied with the result and the interaction we have achieved by recording the material. Each collaborator had different experiences of this music  which resulted in great free interpretation and unique experience of playing the music. Such a project could deserve to present the Croatian culture in the global plan especially in the moment when Croatia returns to her European family and culture, where it belongs“ points out Damjan Grbac, the collaborator of many Croatian and foreign musicians and bands, the member of the  American-Croatian jazz band LeKap Quartet and recently the new artistic director of the international festival „Jazz Time“ Rijeka.
On the new CD there are eight compositions which in their unique way bring the fusion of jazz with the Istrian and Coastal region ethnic music. These are: “Cindra Rules“, „Cviće moje 4“, „New dvojnice“, „Lipo jadri novi brod po moru“, „Hitala je Mare pešćaci va more“, “Nemantinjada“ ,“ Noć „ and „Mess“.

Besides Damjan Grbac on the contrabass, the compositions in GIIPUJA were also played by the famous musicologist Dario Marušić (sopele-Istrian long flute, dvojnice – shepherd’s pipe, cindra and vocal), the acknowledged croatian drummer Tonči Grabušić (drums and percussions) and the guest, internationally famous and acknowledged saxophonist Klaus Gesing from Germany. The project „Distance“, in which this German saxophonist took place in 2008., was nominated for the „Grammy“ world award in the category of the best jazz vocal album for the year 2009.

With his album Damjan Grbac has especially  contributed to promotion and preservation of the Croatian musical heritage and he has shown that Croatian ethnic music can always and again be interpreted and combined with different musical styles.

This project was supported by : The Croatian Ministry of Culture, the City of Kastav, the Tourist community of the City of Kastav, The City of Rijeka, the City of Krk, the community of Viškovo, Primorsko-goranska county, the hotel Kukuriku, Agrolaguna and G.I.S. musical production.

Tehnical rider for album GIIPUJA.

Love Me or Leave Me – LeKAP

LeKAP coverLove Me or Leave Me is the name of jazz CD by LeKap quartet released 2010 for Dancing Bear.

LeKap quartet is a Croatian-American jazz quartet, which has been operating since the 2007. It nurtures a love to traditional jazz music. With a fresh and modern Joe Kaplowitz’s arrangements, performed by peculiar voice of Lela Kaplowitz, performances of LeKap quartet becomes unique and unrepeatable. With young fingers of Damjan Grbac, and experienced sticks by Tonci Grabušić, LeKap quartet deservedly called the best vocal quartet in Croatia!